Scientists keep using solid models to help them better understand complex 3D data (here, an astrophysical simulation):
They say this provides even more insight into what’s going on. “The ability to hold and inspect the 3-D printed models provides a new perspective on the WWIR’s geometry and an improved sense of the scale of the different structures,” they say. In particular, they say the model allows them to appreciate just how large the shockwave is compared to the stars and the distance between them.
- Clive Thompson (2015) Astronomers print 3D models of colliding solar winds.
- Madura et al (2015) 3D printing meets computational astrophysics: deciphering the structure of η Carinae’s inner colliding winds.